Whereas the Advisory Committees on Postulants for Ordination are now or soon to be established in the four Ecclesiastical Provinces, but no common criteria or resources have been adopted;
Be it resolved that this General Synod directs the National Executive Council to arrange for developing standards of operation and criteria of selection for the use of the Advisory Committees on Postulants for Ordination in the four Ecclesiastical Provinces. CARRIED in both Houses.
The Bishop of Kootenay reported, requesting that the Committee be allowed to continue its work but with wider terms of reference. The report is printed as Appendix A to the Minutes.
"That the report of the Committee on a Wider Ordained Ministry be received and that the Committee be asked to continue its work and to consider any other matters which, in their judgment, are related to the question."
BEING THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON "A WIDER ORDAINED MINISTRY"
In a letter dated April 9, 1969, our Primate asked Bishop Scott of Kootenay, Bishop Hambidge of Caledonia, and Bishop Frame of Yukon to form a committee of the House of Bishops in order to consider Resolution 33 of the 1968 Lambeth Conference, and "to see if there are any recommendations that we ought to bring before either the House of Bishops or General Synod."
Our terms of reference (Resolution 33) are as follows: "This Conference reaffirms Resolution 89 of the Lambeth Conference, 1958, on the Supplementary Ministry and recommends a wider and more confident use of this ministry."
In turn Resolution 89 (Lambeth '58) reads: "The Conference considers that while the fully-trained and full-time priesthood is essential to the continuing life of the Church, there is no theological principle which forbids a suitable man from being ordained priest while continuing in his lay occupation. While calling attention to Resolution 65 of the Lambeth Conference of 1930, the Conference now wishes to go further and to encourage provinces to make provision on these lines in cases where conditions make it desirable. Such a provision is not to be regarded as a substitute for the full-time ministry of the Church but as an addition to it".
Finally in order that the picture be as complete as possible, we quote Resolution 65 of the Lambeth Conference of 1930: "The Conference for reasons given in the Report of its Committee on the Ministry cannot recommend a widespread adoption of the proposal that men of mature age and assured position might be called by authority, and if willing, ordained to the priesthood without being required to give up their present occupation. But while declaring that ordination to the priesthood involves full and life-long service, not to be made subservient to any other interests, it sees no insuperable objection to the ordination, with provincial sanction, and under proper safe-guards, where the need is great, of such Auxiliary Priests.
Further, in order to meet the present pressing need, the Conference would not question the action of any Bishop who, with the sanction of the national, regional, or provincial Church concerned, should authorise such licensed Readers as he shall approve to administer the chalice at the request of the Parish Priest."
Our first reaction is to ask why Lambeth 1930 could not recommend a wide-spread adoption of what appears to have been the much-discussed theories of Roland Allen on "Voluntary Clergy". Under the title of "The Ministry of the Church" the bulk of the report deals with the declining statistics of the number ordained, how best to foster vocations, a long section on the training of the clergy before and after ordination, Deaconesses, Spiritual Healing, Religious Communities, and a short section on "Voluntary Clergy".
To quote a few sentences: "Your committee feels bound to point out that the scheme, though it has much of attractiveness, presents many difficulties ... (then follow a number of practical problems) ... The Priesthood demands the whole of life ... It should be clear that the man has been called of God". Even so "... your Committee, is disposed to recommend the ordination of such men in regional churches where they are needed." (In 1928, Roland Allen had written: "... the idea of voluntary clergy is gaining ground ... it is, I am told, to come up at Lambeth in 1930 ... one day I believe and hope they will act".)
Lambeth 1948 says nothing about voluntary clergy or "a wider ordained ministry". Again concern is expressed over the shortage of clergy and a challenge is issued "to boys and young men" ... "to consider whether God is calling them to the ministry of His Church ..." In the Report "The Anglican Communion" from which these words come, two points seem worthy of note: "while it is clear that there can be no lowering of the standard for those to be ordained, it cannot be too emphatically stated that the need for more candidates for the ministry is of the first importance", further the Committee "would stress that ordination is into the ministry of the Church of God, and not into any province or diocese." It is as if the first tentative steps of Lambeth 1930 had never been taken !
Resolution 89 of the 1958 Lambeth Conference does recognise what was begun in 1930. Provision for a wider ordained ministry is to be made "in cases where conditions make it desireable". The Committee Report "Ministries and Manpower" which underlies Resolution 89 gives us much food for thought: "... changes of many kinds, and in all parts of the world, may imply that the pattern of Ministry, which has served the church for more than a thousand years, now requires to be modified or extended". It goes on, "All our perspectives will be falsified if we do not see the Ordained Ministry in the only context in which it can have meaning: namely within the life of the whole Church, and in the relation of that Ministry to the priestly office inherent in the Body of Christ in the world. There is also a need for a better theology of the Laity, together with an increasing realisation of what is meant by Christian vocation throughout the rank and file of the Church's membership. In a real sense the laity -- that is the laos, the People of God -- are the Church. All baptised members of the Body are called to share in its priestly function, the offering of life as a living sacrifice, acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ ... we are commissioned to bring into the Kingdom of Christ the whole of the common life of man. As the supply of the ordained Ministry falls short of the need, so an ever increasing responsibility must rest upon the Laity of the Church in bearing witness in the world ... whilst provision can be made for the ministry of teaching and preaching by the use of large numbers of Catechists and Readers in many areas, it is impossible to make adequate provision for a sacramental ministry because there are too few priests."
In 1968 the aspirations of Lambeth 1958 come boldly into print. "To be a Christian is to accept with Jesus the way of self-emptying in order to share with Him the powers of this new age. Thus all ministry is sacred ministry, whether it manifests itself within the ordered life of the Church or through its service of compassion and reconciliation in the world. Alike in confirmation and at the ordering of deacons, priests and bishops, the gift of the Holy Spirit is invoked for the work of the ministry to which the whole Body of Christ is called." And there is more: "In the whole Anglican Communion ... we should expect to find -- and we should encourage -- a corresponding diversity of forms of ministry ... The various patterns of ministry, ordained and lay, are equal; we cannot rightly speak of an 'inferior office' ... we see a need for developments in ministry which go beyond any of the existing forms."
From 1930 to 1968 long strides have been made in this area of "a wider ordained ministry"; but as more and more thought is given to the subject and increasing number of problems arise -- as your Committee discovered in discussing the matter. Some hint of their nature can be seen in the statements of Lambeth '58 and '68. A discussion of "a wider ordained ministry" or of "voluntary clergy" inevitably leads us to a "better theology of the Laity".
Lambeth 1930 besides giving certain well-known and practical problems as reasons why they could not recommend any widespread adoption of such proposals, suggested two principles which they considered of cardinal importance:
1. the Priesthood demands the whole of life and must not be subservient to any other interests;
2. anyone seeking ordination must be clearly called of God
If only by implication we are bound to ask whether it is not true that the vocation of any Christian demands "the whole of life" and it may not be "subservient to any other interests." To quote our Catechism: "Remember always that Baptism represents unto us our profession, which is to follow our Saviour Christ, and to be made like unto Him." Surely we mean what we teach. The fact that some particular ministry may be exercised "full-time" has proven a generally useful tradition; but are we ready to suggest that any ordained man must by right of his office, be supported ? Presumably this applies to Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.
As for the second principle, we should have great difficulty reconciling this notion of a solely subjective criterion for Ministry with our generally acceptable practise of choosing Bishops. The voice of the Church must be heard. And underlying that is our belief that all men are called into their Baptismal Priesthood. Consider Lambeth '68: "Vocation to God's service in the ordained ministry is never the concern of an individual alone. It is also that of the Church which he is to serve and of the bishop who bears the responsibility of ordaining him."
And it is perhaps here that we can best point to a confusion that can be traced throughout these Lambeth Reports. "Ministry" or "Ordination" do not necessarily mean Priesthood. Lambeth '30 identifies the two constantly. In criticising Roland Allen's thesis the assumption is made throughout that it is the Priesthood that is in question. Indeed Allen himself is guilty of this over-simplification of the problem. Whenever shortage of clergy is raised , it is always in terms of "priests". We boast of a three-fold order of ministry. Yet many of our documents and much that is written on the subject pay scant attention to the facts. Here is one place where the concept of "a wider ordained ministry" needs to be thoroughly understood. "Ministry" does not necessarily mean "priesthood". Indeed if we are to be completely true to the facts, the New Testament speaks of more than a three-fold order of ministry and we would do well to consider to what extent our continual narrowing of the whole notion of "vocation", "ordination" and "ministry" has contributed to the problems that have been troubling us for so long. Lambeth '58 seems to point in the right direction when it suggests the pattern of ministry that has served the church for more than a thousand years may need to be modified or extended. If we have three orders of ministry, then let us recognise the fact and stop trying to make the priesthood -- at the expense of episcopacy and the diaconate -- into some kind of panacea. It is interesting to note that current discussions about the ordination of women are totally confused on this very point. If we are agreed that women may become Deacons in the Church, then the matter is resolved. Let us not make the mistake with women that we have made with men -- that every female vocation is automatically to the priesthood. We are looking at "a wider ordained ministry" not the narrow one with which we have lived for so long.
Lambeth '48 raises another principle that needs to examined. "...ordination is into the ministry of the Church of God, and not into any province or diocese." Yet it is clear that in spite of the authority imparted at the service of ordination -- "Take thou authority..." -- each ordinand must be licensed by a specific Bishop in order that he may function in a specific place.
What is at stake here ? In our present practice are we suggesting that special grace is conferred through the Bishop, but even so, a special license is required before such grace may be "used" in a particular place ? Or are we really "ordering" persons to a function within the life of a church and authorising them to function as a representative of a bishop in particular places ? Clarification is needed here. What is ordination ? As Mollie Batten asked at Lambeth '68: "What more can you give me ?"
If there are certain universal orders of ministry in the Church, what relation do these bear to each other and to the whole body of Christ ? And further is not Baptism equally as universal ? No one is baptised or confirmed into any province or diocese, nor is any license required for them to "practice" their share in the Christ-life when they move from one diocese to another. Their identity is not provincial, or diocesan, and is certainly not congregational. Indeed one might ask whether it is even denominational ! If we must license ordinands to particular bishops and particular places, is there not room here to consider more carefully this principle of universalism and, in turn, what actually happens at Ordination ? Can we not say that in one sense Ordination is really a narrowing of a universal baptismal vocation to a particular ministry in a particular place at a particular time, under a particular bishop ? Lambeth '58 points to our "falsified perspectives". Is there a sense in which we have been looking at things upside down ? Perhaps it is the "baptised priesthood" whose order is universal and, we might add, indelible.
And that brings us to our last point. Lambeth '68 says, "Alike in confirmation and at the ordering of deacons, priests, and bishops, the gift of the Holy Spirit is invoked for the work of the ministry to which the whole Body of Christ is called." It is on this very point that your Committee became bogged down. Before we can proceed to implement any suggestions regarding "a wider ordained ministry", we are in desperate need of clarification with regard to the inconsistencies that abound in our practice of Baptism and Confirmation. Is Confirmation a gratuitous bow in the direction of coming of age ? Is it the occasion when the baptised make their personal commitment to Christ and his Church ? Or is it actually the other half of Baptism, without which Baptism is incomplete ? Is Confirmation a first principle as our Prayer Book suggests ? Is it essential ? If not, then let's be done with it. If it is essential then we must stop talking of Baptism (meaning the first stage of initiation) as if that alone were essential. "Baptism" then would mean the complete initiation rite of the Church and would include "the laying on of hands."
And Lambeth '68 seems to be aware of the problem. "We are concerned at the lack of any form of commissioning for laymen analogous to the ordination of clergy." We commend the following alternatives as possible lines of experiment: (a) Admission to Holy Communion and confirmation would be separate. When a baptised child is of appropriate age, he or she would be admitted to Holy Communion after an adequate course of instruction. Confirmation would be deferred to an age when a young man or woman shows adult responsibility and wishes to be commissioned and confirmed for his or her task of being a Christian in society." (This alternative does complicate the picture.) (b) "Infant baptism and confirmation would be administered together, followed by admission to Holy Communion at an early age after appropriate instruction. In due course the Bishop would commission the person for service when he or she is capable of making a responsible commitment." (And how would such commissioning differ from ordination ?)
Lambeth '68 is aware of the problem; but the alternatives offered do not appear to get to the root of it. Your Committee is in the same situation. We can but remind you of Resolution 25, Lambeth '68. "The Conference recommends that each province or regional church be asked to explore the theology of baptism and confirmation in relation to the need to commission the laity for their task in the world, and to experiment in this regard."
Before we can begin implementing any part of "Towards a Wider Ordained Ministry" (Lambeth '68) serious attention must be given to widening our existing orders, to what actually happens in Baptism, Confirmation, and Ordination, to the whole question of the "universality" and "indelibility" of "holy" orders, and finally to "a better theology of the Laity." Then we shall be in a position to "go further and ... make provision for ..." a wider ordained ministry. We can agree with Lambeth '68 that "parochial and non-parochial, full and part-time, stipendiary and honourary clergy are all needed"; but there are too many inconsistencies, too many assumptions, too much danger of "falsified perspectives" for us to proceed at once.
The Primate reported that, on the request of the Task Force on Manpower he had requested the Bishop of Qu'Appelle to accept an appointment as Interim Director of the National Personnel Office for a six-month period commencing January 1st. He was most grateful that the Bishop had accepted this responsibility. The Bishop of Qu'Appelle spoke to the House of plans which he has been evolving for the use of the six-month period. The first month will be for consultation with experts in Personnel and Deployment matters and the preparation of forms for use as the program develops. The next four months will serve for Diocesan consultations, particularly with bishops and others who will have some responsibility for oversight of clergy, and to provide guidance for training arrangements to be made for them. The final month will be used for a study of deployment policy and preparation for turning over the office to the new Director.
Many questions were raised, chiefly concerning the effect of the new policy on present methods of deployment. Problems were foreseen with respect to the inequality of stipends, the reluctance of men at times to accept appointments, the reluctance of bishops to release men, the reluctance of parishes to give up their voice in appointments.
The Bishops of Saskatoon addressed the House raising the following four basic questions:
- 1. If we provide adequate machinery for collecting information, who will determine the policy governing its use ?
- 2. Will the Task Force continue in being in order to advise regarding policy ?
- 3. What concern is there regarding maintenance of the Church's life and work in rural areas ?
- 4. What will be done to eliminate inequalities, e.g. level of pensions within the Canadian Church, so that the movement of clergy from diocese to diocese may be facilitated ?
The Primate pointed out the three purposes of the new Manpower policy, which are:
- 1. The need to get information of each man's skills by evaluation in consultation with him, and by the obtaining of job descriptions.
- 2. Advisory training necessary for men who carry responsibility for oversight.
- 3. Development of a co-ordinated Employment Policy.
The problems seem to be:
- 1. Fear of tendencies to increased centralization which may be thought to threaten a bishop's authority.
- 2. Fear of the development of procedures of a technological society which would destroy the personal basis of our relationships in the Church.
- 3. The difficulty of recognizing the processes in the Church which are an expression of the will of God.
The sitting adjourned at 12:00 noon for a communion service at which the celebrant was the Archbishop of Fredericton, assisted by the Bishop of Caledonia.
The SEVENTH sitting commenced at 2:00 p.m..
Discussion on Manpower or Personnel Deployment continued. The Bishop of Ottawa spoke of the need for a Committee or advisory group to work with the Interim Director, and later with the Director under the authority of N.E.C..
The Primate asked the question, if changes in canonical responsibility are necessary to meet policy changes, should the House of Bishops have an opportunity to consider them before they come before General Synod. The House felt that it should.
"That the House of Bishops expresses gratitude to the Diocese of Qu'Appelle for releasing their Bishop to do the work of Interim Director of the National Personnel office for a six-month period."
The Primate submitted a presentation, making reference to the report of a commission of the Diocese of Toronto on the Church's Ministry of Healing. He raised the question of the possibility of setting up a Commission for the whole Church to study these matters, or alternatively, the setting of a task force to make a study and bring the matter before General Synod in 1969.
Discussion indicated that many Bishops consider this a critical matter which must be dealt with without undue delay.
"That this House give approval to the proposal to set up a task force to gather adequate information concerning the Pastoral Care, Deployment and Pay of clergy in Canada so as to make possible a report on these matters to General Synod which will indicate the nature of the problems which exist, together with possible lines of action."
"That the Provincial Synods be informed of the setting-up of a task force to investigate The Pastoral Care, Deployment and Pay of the Clergy in Canada and that they be asked to address themselves to the problems under investigation as soon as possible."
"That the committee on the Pastoral Care of Clergy be asked to deal with the matter raised in the General Secretary's letter, dated June 24th relating to Canon XXI dealing with the transfer of clergy."
It was agreed that the list should be printed in the Church Year Book.
The Bishop of Saskatoon on behalf of the Committee, presented a letter containing certain proposals for which the Committee desired the support and collaboration of the House. The letter read, in part, as follows:
"1. CANADIAN C.A.C.T.M. [Central Advisory Council for the Ministry - Church of England]
Consideration of this arises from the request of the House of Bishops at Scarborough on February 7th, 1961.
"This House considers the responsibility for Theological Education and Training for the Sacred Ministry, to be the responsibility of the whole Church, as regards finances, standards, future planning and the selection of candidates, and asks that a a comprehensive plan be devised somewhat after the plan of C.A.C.T.M. for Canadian application."
The Committee also desires to fulfill the responsibility vested in it by General Synod to "advise on the selection of candidates for the ministry".
The Committee plans to propose to General Synod that, in consultation with the Bishops, four regional boards of selectors, located in the four provinces, for candidates for the ministry should be established and that adequate financial appropriation be made by General Synod for the work of these boards. Like the English C.A.C.T.M. the boards would be advisory. Detail has still to be considered, but the Committee on Theological Education seeks general approval of this plan and will be grateful for the concurrence of the Bishops.
The fifth session of the House was held at 4:00 p.m. when discussion was resumed on the report on Theological Education.
In response to the request of the House of Bishops, copies of a proposed course of preparation for older candidates for the ministry have been distributes to the Bishops. However, after careful consideration, the Committee considers that the Church should discourage the proliferation of schemes and schools for the training of older men, and should seek to integrate such training into the work of the regularly established theological colleges. Some of the reasons for this change of approach are set forth in Appendix (A) to this letter [not included in the electronic database]. The Committee trusts that the Bishops will endorse its views on this subject.
"That we give general approval to section 2."
The Bishop of Huron announced that owing to the decline in the requirement of older men for the ministry, Seager Hall which has carried on a program of training older men for several years, will close at the end of the current year of training.
At Scarborough in 1961 the Bishops stated that they regarded Financing of theological education to be the responsibility of the whole Church. As a first move in this direction the Committee on Theological Education desires to propose that publicity concerning, and the collection of funds through the Theological Education Sunday Appeal should be placed under the auspices of General Synod, and that General Synod should be responsible for the distribution of all income received through this Appeal.
Possibly an equitable scheme of distribution to the colleges may be divided on a per capita basis with provision for the consideration of the special circumstances of any particular college. It will be for General Synod to decide through which of its agencies this work will be done.
The Committee on Theological Education looks for the support of the Bishops in this small first step towards making responsibility for theological education a concern of the whole Church."
While the Committee asked for specific actions by the House of Bishops regarding the above subjects it also reported on the following parts of its work, information on which subjects were contained in Appendices to the Report.
2. Married Students and Marriage of Students in Course
3. The Length and Content of Theological Education.
4. Post-Ordination Training
Noonday prayers were offered by the Bishop of Ottawa
Further consideration of the report was postponed until afternoon
The Bishop of Toronto remarked that there was need for a Pastoral Letter from the House of Bishops definitely calling on the young men of the Church to give real thought and prayer to the service of Christ in the sacred ministry.
That this House requests the Primate to appoint a small committee of the House to collaborate with him in the preparing of a message to the people of the Anglican Church of Canada, informing them of the Church's urgent need of a sufficient supply of candidates for the sacred ministry in every Canadian Diocese, summoning all members to make this need a matter of their deepest concern and unceasing prayer, and calling upon the parish priests and the parents of each congregation to realize the challenge of this need to themselves in particular.
Further, that this message be sent out in the names of all the Bishops as an evidence of our corporate concern and deep desire for unified action for the welfare of every Diocese of the Church in Canada and overseas, and, finally that this message be given the widest possible publicity and printed in pamphlet form for distribution in the Parishes of all Dioceses. CARRIED
The Primate appointed the Archbishop of Algoma, the Bishops of Saskatoon and Cariboo and the Assistant Bishop of Newfoundland to form a Committee for the preparation of the Pastoral Letter.
The Primate opened the next session with prayer at 2 o'clock and the Bishop of Fredericton spoke on that part of the Brief dealing with the finances of the Theological Colleges. Discussion then moved to a consideration of the principles underlying Theological Education and Training for the Sacred Ministry resulting in a resolution of policy, this resolution to go no further than the House of bishops at the moment.
That this House considers the responsibility for Theological Education and Training for the Sacred Ministry to be the responsibility of the whole Church as regards finances, standards, future planning and the selection of candidates, and asks that a comprehensive plan be devised, somewhat after the plan of C.A.C.T.M. [Central Advisory Council for the Ministry] for Canadian application. CARRIED.
The Bishop of Kootenay then presented a Report from the Heads of Colleges which was received on motion of the Bishop of Moosonee.
Many matters came under discussion such as, the need for a longer academic year; the need for the sponsorship of all candidates by their Bishops; the need for a unity of some kind in Deacons and Priests examinations; the desirability of grants coming from a central source in the Church rather than from an individual Diocese; the meaning of sponsorship; the testing of vocations; the dis-satisfaction of students with the present bursary system. There was a general agreement that the House of Bishops accepts as a principle that every candidate for Holy Orders should be under the care and guidance of his Bishop, and that there should be help for a bishop in the selection of men. The Primate asked the Archbishop of Algoma and the Bishop of Saskatoon to meet with the Secretary to prepare an Agenda for the meeting with the Heads of Colleges which was to take place the following day.
The Bishop of Brandon described the development of the Commission, and introduced the Reverend H.B. Barrett to present the Report of the Commission. This dealt chiefly with the production of the Manual on Recruitment.
Report To The House Of Bishops From The Commission on Church Vocations.
During the past year the Commission on Church vocations has carried on its planning and thinking at all times attempting to build on the work that has already been done by such able men as Provost Seeley and Bishop Hunt.
The Commission has discussed very thoroughly the future plan of action and the question of implementing the authorization of the Executive Council for the appointment of a full time secretary for Recruitment. Such an appointment, however, has not been made because there was considerable difference in opinion as to the work of such a Recruitment Officer, and, after even further investigation, uncertainty as to the type of person that would be most effective and whether whoever was appointed should be full time or part-time. It is hoped that the House of Bishops may guide the Commission on this particular part of the programme as it is felt that such an Officer could be effective if he had the full support of all Diocesan Bishops in Canada.
One major effort of the last year has been the production of a Manual on Recruitment. This Manual has been produced very largely through the work and inspiration of Mr. H.D. Johns, together with the secretary and other members of the Commission. This Manual outlines the problem of manpower in the Church at the present time and also gives certain statistical records as to how our present clergy came to accept the work of the Ministry and what influences helped them in making their decision, together with other information on recruitment.
We could like to emphasize that the Manual was never intended as an exhaustive theological study of vocation nor as a study book for small groups of clergy and others. Rather it was intended, as it suggests itself, to be used clergy and lay people in parishes as a means of stimulating thinking about recruitment and then action. It has been revised slightly several times already and will, undoubtedly, go through many more revisions before it reaches a final form. Meanwhile, however, it has been used in the following Dioceses in various ways: Rupert's Land, Brandon, Montreal, Arctic, Saskatoon, Athabasca, Nova Scotia, Fredericton.
This Manual was not intended just for general distribution throughout the Church but rather to be used as a source book for groups dealing with the whole question of recruitment. The Commission has always felt that the main Recruitment Officer in every Diocese was the Bishop, assisted by his clergy, and it is the hope of the Commission that, if the Bishops give approval to the Manual, they will arrange to have meetings of their clergy at which they will give them the book and discuss thoroughly with them the whole plan of recruitment in their own Diocese. It is also hoped that each Diocese will have a Recruitment Committee of its own and try in every way possible to interest the parishes to have small committees on recruitment dealing with the situation in their own particular area.
We would like to emphasize that the Commission on Church Vocations has no idea of some high-powered campaign forcing people into the ministry, but rather the awakening of a new interest in our parishes of the importance of the Ministry and the great dignity of this office so that, when God's call is made to the young men of today, the seed planted by the Holy Spirit will fall on fruitful soil and not be obstructed by the weeds of materialism, self-interest, and an undesirable view of the priesthood.
We would also like to point out that more work is required to interest parents and other adults in the Church in the greatness of the work of the ministry, as our research shows that often it is the objection of parents and close relations that turns young men away from choosing the ministry as their life work.
The Commission has also found that there is a very great need of presenting the work of the Church to young men and women of today as a work that is of supreme importance in the realities of today's world. We have been alarmed to find that, while there is a desire on the part of many young people to choose a profession which will be of value to the world, they rather tend to turn away from the Church as they often feel that its ministry to the world is non-essential, non-effective, and irrelevant. It would appear that the image of the Church in the mind of many of these young people today is that it is quite a nice institution and with some part to play in society but that it is not of vital importance in the life of the world.
A plan for action is given below. But first may it be said that the all over task of the Commission on Church Vocations is to awaken the Church to understand and fulfil its role as the instrument through which God may speak directly to all men and, more particularly, to those who are needed to take up tasks in the Church at this point in history.
In order to do this, the following plan is proposed:-
1. The appointment of a full time secretary for the Commission.
2. The use of the Manual in each Diocese. This would seem to be best done by the interpretation of it to all the clergy of the dioceses in conferences.
3. The establishment within each Diocese of a person or persons who would have a direct responsibility for recruitment and who would be in direct communication with the Commission on Church Vocations -- or the linking of those already appointed for this task in Dioceses with the Commission.
4. A conference of those concerned for recruitment from each Diocese with similar people from the theological colleges wherein detailed plans for action can be made.
5. A nationwide series of consultations and conferences by the secretary of the Commission on Church Vocations in order to further local Diocesan planning and to bring the whole matter before the Church as fully as possible. This might be be carried through in the way similar to that proposed by Provost Seeley.
6. The development of literature for recruitment. This would include:-
(a) the provision of memos such as outlined in the Manual.
(b) the creation of literature, particularly on the priesthood, such as that accompanying this report.
(c) the development of general literature on Church Vocations for girls and boys and young men and women.
The planning in all Dioceses of conferences suitable to that area in order to acquaint adults and young people with the meaning of Christian Vocation and the needs of the Church at present.
Ivor Brandon -- Chairman
Bernard Barrett -- Secretary
Commission on Church Vocations.
The discussion which followed produced general approval of the Manual. Some concern was expressed about the use of the word Recruitment, but it was evident that the Commission had given a great deal of thought to this and alternative terms. The Bishop of Saskatoon stressed the desirability of emphasizing the transcendental aspect of vocation which he felt was lightly touched upon in the Manual.
That this House of Bishops urges the Commission to go forward with the production of the Manual with such minor revisions as have been suggested. CARRIED.
That the Primate be requested to consider preparing a Foreword to the Manual, commending it, and stressing the considerations regarding the call of God through the Holy Spirit and the necessity for total commitment as proposed by the Bishop of Saskatoon. CARRIED.
Part of the Report presented by Mr. Barrett was a "Plan for Action".
1. The appointment of a full-time secretary for the Commission.
2. The use of the Manual in each Diocese.
3. The establishment within each Diocese of someone directly responsible for recruitment -- or the linking of those already appointed with the Commission.
4. A conference of those concerned with recruitment from each Diocese with similar people from theological colleges to make detailed plans for action.
5. A nationwide series of consultations and conferences by the secretary of the Commission on Church Vocations to further local Diocesan planning and to bring the whole matter before the Church as fully as possible.
6. The development of literature as outlined in the Manual, etc.
7. The planning in all Dioceses of conferences to acquaint people with the meaning of Christian Vocation and the present needs of the Church.
That the House approve in principle, sections two to seven in the recommendations of the Commission on Church Vocations. CARRIED.